Expert Planner Panel | Choosing the Right Planning Service

Here at the NWP Group we firmly believe that every bride should hire a planner. However, most planners offer different levels of planning and coordinating services and it's important to choose the service that will fit you and your wedding best. So today, we asked our expert planners: How does a bride decide whether what planning services are most suitable for her?

Time, Desire and Skill Set...(1)Time - A bride would choose full planning services if her life is too full to devote to the necessary steps of planning a beautiful wedding. If a bride's schedule is open to it, she can do the majority of the planning herself or with mom or best friend and then hire a planner to take charge for the wedding weekend. (2) Desire - A bride may have the time, but she may not have the desire. If a bride really does not have the desire to do the analytical and strategic thinking that is crucial to a lovely wedding, it would be wise for her to hire a planner for the whole enchilada! Consequently, some brides know all the best bridal blogs, have researched several vendors and have a strong desire to be very hands-on with every step of the process. That bride could handle the planning and book a planner for the month-of coordination. (3) Skill Set - Finally, skill set is another major factor in deciding between these two services. Some brides don't like to interview various vendors and feel pressured in contacting new people to handle their day. She may naturally shy away from structure, record-keeping and planning. She may feel overwhelmed at the thought of keeping it all together and possess a personality that delights in a carefree lifestyle! That bride would do well to hire a planner for full planning services. On the other hand, an organized, meticulous bride who relishes in connecting with vendors, building relationships and creating an overall plan may be interested in booking a planner simply for month-of coordination. A special note about month-of coordination -- If a bride chooses to do the full planning herself and hire a planner for month-of, I highly recommend that she do so as soon as possible. Even if the wedding is a year away, she can still meet with and book her Planner. Along the way, she can email a few updates. Then, 6 - 8 weeks from the date, bride and Planner can meet to discuss what the bride has planned. Even though the Planner won't be there guiding the entire process, it will be crucial to the success of the day for the bride to see the Planner as a partner in accomplishing the same goal -- a wonderful and beautiful wedding weekend!!

Parthenia Fayne of Epiphany Events

I think there are brides who are very organized and know exactly what they want but don't want to run the show on wedding day and those are the ones who month-of planning is perfect for. for those brides who have each centerpiece in a separate box with an inventory list and a photo of what it should look like, totally go month-of! I think there are a lot of brides who think they can stay very organized and then feel overwhelmed once they start the planning process and full planning services are better suited for them. Other factors like planning from out of town or planning when you have a very full load at work can come into play. I think a lot of girls feel like having a full planner will not allow them to make their wedding day "them" but this is not the case. A full planner can enhance your vision and help you attain it with their resources.

Becca George of Modern Vintage Events

Every bride is different. The month-of bride: Wants to be involved in every detail. Has the extra time needed for research and organization. Doesn't get overwhelmed by Pinterest or other inspiration. Is comfortable combining flowers, decor, linens and colors. The full planning bride: Wants a professional to walk with them through the process. Wants to make decisions but doesn't have the time or desire to do all the research or idea gathering. Doesn't want to feel rushed or overwhelmed. Wants to know that someone is looking at the details.

Elaine Roberts of Events by Elaine